Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Perfect" bread and butter pudding

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains ...

My Country, Dorothea MacKellar

When Dorothea MacKellar wrote My Country, first published in 1908, she hit the nail on the head with these lines. Aged 8, I helped my class to decorate our grade three classroom with crepe paper and painted cardboard in vivid oranges and reds and yellows for the Carnival of Flowers, never suspecting that in my adult life, I would experience for myself the truth of Dorothea's words so close to home.

My home town of Toowoomba went through around 5 or so years of drought, and survived on tough Level 5 water restrictions for much of that time, with its dams for its water supply down to 7% capacity. Now, in a strange irony, for the first time in almost 11 years, the dams are at 100% capacity, and the town experienced heretofor unheard of flash flooding on Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, two people were caught in those floods in the CBD and died, and much of the CBD has been devastated, with the fast flowing waters causing mass destruction. Unlike the floods earlier this month further north in Queensland, Monday's flood struck without warning and hit hard. One of the parts of town worst hit by the foods is where the lovely Platform 9 tearooms that I introduced you to recently are situated. I have no idea how it fared, but I know that many shops in the area had their windows blown out by the water and their contents swept away down the main streets. For one of many examples on YouTube, here is one filmed near the Greyhound bus depot. Thankfully, my family and their home are safe and well, but my heart goes out to those who are not so fortunate.

Moving right along ... Remember my poor unloved stollen from Christmas? I decided to make it into bread pudding. For half of the stollen, and bread pudding attempt no. 1, I used this recipe for bread and butter pudding in The Guardian. It claims to be "perfect" bread and butter pudding. Hmm, I am not sure that I agree. It tastes OK, but is a little lacking in custard - although it was silky smooth and not at all eggy. I recommend at least doubling the custard.

Here is the pudding ready for baking:

It doesn't beat Donna Hay's marmalade version that I have tried - I might try that with the rest of the stollen.

Do you have a favourite bread and butter pudding recipe? If you do, I'd love to hear about it.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about the recent flooding. Here's hoping that no more incidents occur. On a more positive note, I like your bread and butter pudding attempt. I, too, like a more eggy custard for bread puddings. Great post!

Mary said...

So sorry to hear that the floods have hit your hometown, though I'm glad to hear your family are okay.
Maybe it's a good thing I didn't make the stollen, as I'd no doubt still be trying to get rid of it too.

stef said...

Those floods are just so horrible.

But yum to bread and butter pudding.

The Caked Crusader said...

As soon as I heard mention of Toowoomba on the news I recalled it being the name of the tearooms you featured. Such a sad thing to happen.

Hope you are safe and well

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

You B&B pudding looks wonderful! It is so tragic what is happening in Qld and I'm almost frightened to turn on the news or look at the news websites (although I'm getting a constant update on twitter).

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

The floods are really really scary. They are happening so fast. I can't believe that Brisbane is now flooding too. I mean the CBD is really getting hit.
Glad to hear your family is safe though! I hope that many other families are too.

As for your bread and butter pudding, no doubt it will comfort and console those around you. Yum!

Johanna GGG said...

would be sorry to hear that platform 9 was no longer so gorgeous but really we would put up with a cafe's destruction rather than hearing about people's lives being't so devastated by the floods - so sad to hear about it all

bread and butter pud is good comfort food - I saw the one in the guardian and thought it looked fussy so am interested to hear you weren't so impressed. I tried one quite like my mum used to make and it was lovely (love the idea of your stollen in it)

Walnuts and Honey said...

The floods suck. Im in London england and we keep hearing about them on the news, hope eevrything is better now... cant beleieve there were snakes in that water! Looking at your pics whislt eating my pathetic Weetabix is depressing, this looks so tasty lol. Really nice blog and im loving the pictures. Will be coming back. Feel free to stop by mine for some ideas, although yours trumps mine x10 haha! Keep up the good work :D

Cakelaw said...

Thanks to all - I and my family are safe and well, but it is now the good people of Brisbane (where I used to live) who are endangered. The floods are supposed to peak there tonight - so I am praying for them tonight.

Johanna, I will have to check out your mum's pud - I am not sure what to do with that other half stollen!

Thanks for dropping by Walnuts and Honey - I will drop by soon.

Gloria said...

Dear Cakelaw I saw at TV all happens there, the curious you are in summer, why have so many fllods this year? Is by the time maybe? Im glad to heard you and family are OK and your bread pudding look awesome, huggs, gloria

Ivy said...

I love bread puddings. Sorry to hear about the floodings in Brisbane. It's so sad and hope it gets better soon.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've always wanted to make bread pudding. I'm sorry about the floods!

Indie.Tea said...

I've got to try the marmalade version too - it sounds lovely. I really like yours too - it looks very structured and comforting!